More artwork


A bit of artwork for your Friday!

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He’s drawing a house.

Then he added.

And added.


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A swimming pool.  Trees.

Arms.  Legs.  Wheels.

Thus it became a person house.  One that looks a bit grouchy until you notice the face, way up at the top of the roof.  Smiling.


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Enjoy your weekend!



My son and I collaborated on some artwork a few days ago.  Technically I was the assistant.  In our hometown a truly fabulous art event is going on right now and since we can’t be there we’re creating some of our own art.  My Dear Son had the vision for this piece and he told me which parts to draw.  We both drew a tree.  After the trees were completed my DS said, ‘Yours is good.  Mine is better.”

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He then added, “Mine looks like a real tree” and showed me a large tree in our yard.  I guess I need some more practice.

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In the middle of the picture is a vacuum.  It’s an outdoor vacuum that can ‘vacuum up poison ivy.’  I sure wish it was real.

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Later the vacuum morphed into a house with a giant roof.  Watching kids design and dream is absolutely fantastic!

Averting Craziness (or at least trying to)

Our van is in the shop. It let us know it needed some affection only a mechanic could give it, so my little guy and I have been home.  A lot.  Last year we went through some significant vehicle issues, so I’m no stranger to living with limited transportation.  Unsurprisingly, it is not my favorite way to live.  I’m very grateful for a good house to live in, but sometimes I wouldn’t mind seeing a little less of it!  We have 2-3 more weeks to go and I’m already starting to go a bit stir crazy, so my son and I headed out with for a walk.  He brought snacks and I brought my camera.  When approaching craziness or discouragement (or a host of other things) it’s good to search for beauty!  It’s a balm for the soul.

Here are a few pictures from our walk:


This guy was tolerating me in hope of getting some food. Sadly, it was a total letdown for him.


Ahh…Fall…and the migration of egrets.


We walked onto the bridge and there was a little doe standing there. He moved fast, but man, was he cute! It was a great surprise for us.


In a sea of brown there was one blue flower. Way to defy your environment, little flower!


As we were walking home we noticed these two leaves which had landed in this position on the sidewalk. It looked like a flower or miniature tree or something. At any rate, I thought it was cool.


And one more picture. Cause it’s pretty.

I can’t say the craziness has been completely averted, but it’s at least been reduced a little bit!

Little conversations

I love talking with my kids, which I described in the last post.  They challenge me and make me laugh all the time.  Here are are few tidbits with my four year old from this past week.

My Dear Son: I’m petting the kitty.
Me: Does he like it?
DS: Yes. I knew he was very shy because he was running away from me.
*I’m sure that’s it.*


On another occasion I moved some chairs to the other room while I was cleaning, which always inspires the kids to build some kind of fort or structure. We’ve had houses, cars, roller coasters, etc.  This time my little guy was building by himself while his siblings were at school:

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DS: I’m trying to make this a rocket ship.
Me: Sweet.
DS: I can’t find a place to lay down.
Me: Bummer. I don’t know what to tell you.
DS: You could tell me something I could do to lay down.
Me: Well, yes, that would be helpful. What I meant is I don’t have any ideas at the moment.
DS: Oh.

(It’s such a bummer when parents don’t have the answer…of course, chances are pretty high if I had given an answer, he wouldn’t have liked it, but that’s a different story.)


This morning I was drawing on some cloth napkins with a fabric marker and this conversation ensued:

DS: Why are you doing that?
Me: Because the writing is faded.
DS: What does that mean?
Me: The writing has gotten lighter than is used to be.
DS: Why didn’t you just say that?

I comforted myself by believing I helped him learn the word.  Unfortunately, I asked him this afternoon was “faded” meant.  He had no idea.  Parenting and *sighing* go hand in hand….

Conversations with kids

Kids are interesting.  Always.  Sometimes interestingly crazy.  Sometimes interestingly sweet.  Sometimes interestingly disobedient.  Sometimes interestingly funny.  But always interesting.  It’s like reading a reading a really good book and just when you think you’ve figured it out, something unexpected happens.  Or watching a movie that you may have seen before but it still surprises you with it’s humor.  I find so many conversations with kids interesting.  And funny.  And sweet.  And….


Here are a few recent conversations with my kids:


My Dear Daughter:  Mom?

Me:  Yes?

DD:  *pause*  I forgot what I was going to say.

Me:  Was it, “Mom you’re awesome.  Thanks for taking such good care of me”?

DD:  NO!!

(Well, it was worth a shot.)



My Dear Son: You’re wearing all black.

Me:  I have a purple shirt on.  (However, I had on black pants and a black cardigan.)

DS:  You should change.  (Please note this child is 4 years old.)

Me:  Why?

DS:  You look weird.

(Apparently I shouldn’t begin a Goth phase soon.)



My Dear Son:  I’m thirsty.

Me:  Drink some of your water.

DS:  I’m thirsty for cake.

(Hmmm, now I’m a bit thirsty for cake.)



From a few months ago:

My Dear Son: “Banana” is how you say “Hello” in Spanish! 

Me: “Hola” is how you say Hello in Spanish.  

DS: Well, “Banana” is another way to say “Hello” in Spanish. 

(I wonder how someone would feel if we greeted them with “banana”?  I suppose there are worse greetings.)

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And occasionally they’re good for one’s ego:

As I pick up a baking sheet to carry it to the sink, My youngest son asks:  You can do that with one hand?

Me: Yes.

DS:  Woah

(Yes, that’s right, Mommy is All. That.  Please make a note of it, because I’m sure we’ll forget it 2 minutes from now.)



Lessons learned.

This weekend we had a low key weekend.  (Which means we stayed home quite a bit and at one point my teenager thought he would lose his mind with boredom.)  However, despite the slower weekend I still learned some important lessons:

1. Never let your phone drink coffee. Not ever.  It will not work better.  Instead it will insist it can take a few days off.  This is also true for key fobs.

2. Being told by the phone technician that one’s phone smells like coffee is a bit embarrassing, even if you’ve already explained what happened to your phone.

3. If a key fob drinks coffee it will randomly set off the vehicle’s alarm.  However, since it is wired on caffeine, it will NOT allow you to stop the alarm.  The key fob finds it extra amusing if you’re in a quiet neighborhood on a Sunday afternoon.

4. Despite my love for coffee, smelling it on my clothes, bags, and electronics for hours is not nearly as enjoyable as drinking it.

5. Rice is awesome.*  Not only is it tasty, it can salvage phones and key fobs.  It does requires patience. Pulling a phone out of the rice before it is ready will make the phone misbehave even more than usual.

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6. If a friend gives my children a pogo stick they will think they’ve experienced a little bit of heaven.

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7. Moms can learn to pogo stick too.  By ‘learn to pogo stick’ I mean successfully jump 3 times before falling.

8. There is a wiki how link on pogo stick jumping that might have saved me some embarrassment had I read it sooner.  However, it assumes a higher lever of success than I will ever aspire to.

9. On the morning after a three day weekend my children will be ready for school early.  Every weekend should be a three day weekend.

(Okay, that last one might not be a new lesson learned, more of a reminder of an old lesson.  And a dream for the future.)



* If you would like some rice with a slight coffee flavor, I can help.

Meatloaf Day

Yesterday was the annual meatloaf day at our house.  My kids love meatloaf, so there are lots of days during the year we have meatloaf, however, August 10 is one day meatloaf is guaranteed to be in the menu.

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It was the idea of a friend almost four years ago.  On August 10 four years ago I fixed meatloaf for dinner (please don’t ask me any other meals I’ve made on a specific date in history.  However, it is possible I could tell you what I made for breakfast this morning.)  I planned ahead that day because we wanted to get to the library and get library cards.  So I stuck that meatloaf in a slow cooker knowing it would be ready for us when we got back.  Only we didn’t make it back as scheduled.  My body decided it’d be better to get to a hospital rather than go home and eat meatloaf.  Which is really messed up, because I make good meatloaf.  (Every one in my family likes it, which is a feat in and of itself.  Each child has requested it for their special birthday meal at least once.)  So I went to the hospital and had a preemie baby two days later.  My husband and older two kids made it back home that night, but the meatloaf was more than done, apparently.  It had moved well past the edible stage to the science-project-gone-bad stage.  (After that event I was a bit scared something traumatic would happen every time I made meatloaf.)

So in honor of a poor meatloaf gone bad we have meatloaf day every year.  Actually, it’s more to honor the very stressful beginning of my son’s life just a couple of days later.  Born too early too far from home.  But despite his rough beginning he is doing fabulously and meatloaf day helps me remember how far he has come and what God has already done in his and our lives.

This week we celebrate my youngest son’s birthday.  He is a sweet, smart, energetic boy.  He is a classic little brother who both loves to be with and loves to torment his siblings.  He is full of life and love and stubbornness.  It’s amazing to think how fast four years has gone, but I look forward to many more watching him grow.

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I was gone from this site for a while.  And by ‘a while’ I mean most of the spring and summer.  But in the scheme of humanity, it’s just a blip, right?  But I’m back to blogging.  Maybe even regularly…hopefully.

It was a stressful spring and a busy summer and now we’re settling into the routine of the school year.  Life is good and hard and beautiful and precious.

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Last night my son asked me to come out and see a Mockingbird in one of our trees.  Around here Mockingbirds are common, as in all over the place.  I think they’re pretty cool birds…any bird that make all the sounds it does has to be awesome.  However, he asked while I was having a conversation with DH, who’d only been home from work a few minutes.  Plus, the same child and I had watched the same mockingbird in the same tree just a few hours earlier.   As a result, I wasn’t overly thrilled to go running outside with him.  Thankfully I’m sometimes wise enough to go with what my kids are excited about and I went outside.

Part of the scene when I got there was just what I expected…a Mockingbird singing beautifully in the tree where he sings every day.  However, the scene in our driveway was gorgeous.  Leaning on the recycle bin stood my oldest son and on the pavement next to him lay my two younger children.  All three were just hanging out watching/listening to the bird.  It was a precious thing.  I smile just thinking about it.  I’ve heard lots of birds sing; sometimes I listen carefully, often I don’t.  But I’m so glad I took the time to listen last night.  I got to see my children enjoying God’s creation, which was more beautiful to me than any bird could ever sing.

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To J’s future wife:

This morning when J said “I don’t know where my slippers are.”  I responded immediately: “They’re by the front door.”  Such a simple exchange.  Only a moment of time. Then it hit me: I need to apologize to you.  For through that brief exchange I am setting you up.  As of right now you have no idea.  You may not even be born yet.  But the time will come.  Oh, the time will come my future daughter-in-law, when you will be required to continue the role of wives and mothers everywhere.  Hopefully your mother will warn you and help you adjust to your future reality: you will need to know where everything is.  And when I say “everything” it includes the receipt for the car part purchased three years earlier.  It includes the tie J wore two months prior and randomly discarded at his first opportunity.  Measuring cups, books, batteries, and children will be included in this “everything.”  Thankfully it will not include video games or large pieces of furniture.  But you will be expected to catalogue the location of everything else in your mind.

This will come naturally for you to some degree, because through this catalogue-ization you are able care for those you love.  However, beware: It is a trap.  Once you indicate you know where one thing is it will be deemed your role for eternity to know the location of everything.

Occasionally you will have to face opposition.  And again I am sorry.  Even this morning when I told J where the slippers were, his gracious and loving response was, “No, they’re not.” (Please note, he said that while he was walking to the door, where he found the slippers.)  I’d like to tell you he came running back to me saying, “Oh thank you, Dear Mother!  I’m so very grateful you knew the location of the slippers.  You are amazing.”  I would like to tell you that but it would a big, fat lie.  I don’t even recall him saying ‘Thanks.”  (If it’s any consolation, when he comes and rescues you from the scary bugs in the house, he probably will not expect more than an end to the screeching.)

At times you will attempt to empower J: “Try looking for *said item* in the drawer.”  However, unless the item is on top of everything else in the drawer with blinking lights around it, J probably will not find it.  Soon he will tell you he looked “everywhere.”  Please keep in mind “everywhere” does not carry the same significance as “everything.”  For when he says he looked “everywhere” he means he looked “somewhere” and then decided it would be easier to either A.) Live without *said item* or B.) Ask you.  When he asks you, you will likely respond with “It’s in the drawer,” which will bring more opposition:  “No, it’s not; I already looked there.”  Keep in mind both of you are correct.  He did look in the drawer, but since the item was not on top with blinking lights he could not find it.  When you look in the same drawer you likely will move a piece of paper and the *said item* will be immediately visible.

Since J is still young I would like to tell you I am the woman to break this vicious cycle.  But I forced to admit I am not strong enough.  His cuteness has sucked me in.  So you, my dear future daughter-in-law, must bear this burden, and I am sorry.  Please note I am training him on his bug removing skills, so there will be a silver lining in your future.  I also am dedicated his stay-dry-at-night training.  Although you don’t understand now, I think in the future you and I will agree this was the more important battle to win.

– Your future Mother-in-law


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